As Portland, OR gears up for yet another screening of Revenge, local
EV'er and filmmaker J Bills recounts the scene at the Portland premiere
back in November:
in Portland, we still talk about the last time Chris Paine rolled through town with a
movie; an early screening of 2006’s seminal “Who Killed the
Electric Car?” that rallied the local electric army and provided a
slingshot of momentum as the film hit the circuit.
So you can imagine the buzz around town as we braced for the next installment.
We were good & ready for REVENGE!
Long recognized as an EV hotbed alongside our brethren Seattle and San
Francisco, Portland never disappoints when it’s time to round up
and roll out. Members of the EV scene here were out in full force to
support the November 4th premiere of “Revenge of the
Electric Car” at the historic
Paine arrived to the theater, he was greeted by a parade of EVs.
Local enthusiast Steve “LEAF” Erickson led the charge of electric
conversions and the trail of early-adopter factory EVs across town
and down Sandy Boulevard, finishing in front of the theater as Paine
looked on. A proper road rally!
electric utility PGE generously sponsored parking for the event and
rented out the rooftop parking deck next to the theatre. Free
parking for any EV. As you can imagine, this was an impressive “lot”
to say the least! A parking garage full of EVs couldn’t help
but give people walking from their cars a new level of the famous “EV
As expected, both screenings with Paine presenting
were completely sold out, and it was a mob scene of EV-ers and
“civilians” alike with the admission lines snaking around the
Under the marquee, local EV manufacturers Arcimoto
and Green Lite Motors lined up their production prototype “trikes”
as eye candy for the anxious ticket holders. Arcimoto’s and Green
Lite Motors’ Presidents, Mark Frohnmayer and Tim Miller
respectively, joined industry heavyweights like Otmar Ebenhoech
(Zilla Controllers) in attendance. Everyone who’s anyone in the
Oregon sustainable business sector was there to catch the film and
the post-film Q&A.
Speaking of the prototypes, several high
school students and passersby were ogling over the Arcimoto, and I
overheard one of them say it looked “wicked” and “like
something out of Tron.”
As if that weren’t enough to get
pulses racing with anticipation, also on display out front were a
bevy of Tesla Roadsters, the PGE Nissan Leaf, and to round things
out, Chris Paine & brother Nels arrived in a cherry Chevy Volt.
Organizers and city officials closed off the street adjacent the
theater and held a veritable EV street fair including many of
Portland’s own “EV Celebrities” and their exotic creations.
Hometown hero John Wayland and the one and only White Zombie - the
world’s quickest street legal electric drag racing car - headlined
from the Alberta E-bike store joined flawless MG, Porsche and Fiat
convertible EV conversions among the Teslas, Volts and LEAFs that
offered a taste of things to come in the film. The EV wagon train
encircled andlassoed their extension cords
into the Oregon State University Solar Charger, which had made its
way up from Corvallis, OR earlier in the day.
the crowd made its way in. The lights dimmed, the curtains parted,
and Paine gave us all a show.
What a fantastic ride! No
spoilers here, but not only is this film a snapshot of the EV’s
triumph and history in the making, but an introspective look into the
mind of a CEO and exactly what goes on behind closed doors at the
world’s most forward thinking automotive manufacturers. We laughed,
we cried… but most importantly, we got REVENGE!
Given what some of the conversion folks especially have been through
over the years to create and keep their cars on the road, this film
serves as a “finish line” landmark for many of us. Sweet
Afterwards Paine took questions and spoke at
length about the state of the industry as well as the challenges of
The next morning, Paine and his film were off to
the next destination... another day, another stop on the whirlwind Revenge Premiere
Tour. But the evening and the film undoubtedly left its mark on
Portland and has given us another epic night to talk about for years
thank you for the continued inspiration, ingenuity, and courage. On
behalf of all of us in the EV scene here in
Oregon: Chris Paine, you make us proud!
area residents can attend the annual upcoming EV
Celebration Day (formerly EV Awareness Day) Saturday, July 14th, 2012 9am-5pm at
Pioneer Courthouse Square, followed by an EV car show and free
screening of Revenge of the Electric Car,
Sunday July 15th at the Bagdad Theater (Car show at 6pm, film at 7pm)
courtesy of Benjamin